Join us on Friday, March 8th at 7:00 pm in Room 132 of the Archaeology Building on the U of S Campus (55 Campus Drive) for our annual Jessie Caldwell Memorial Lecture! Dr. Paul Hackett (Geography & Planning, University of Saskatchewan) will be speaking on “Historical Epidemics in the Fur Trade West: Implications for Archaeological Practice”. All are welcome to attend!
Abstract: Historical Epidemics in the Fur Trade West: Implications for Archaeological Practice
During the fur trade era waves of exogenous epidemic diseases such as smallpox and measles increasingly battered the Indigenous people of what is now western Canada. While the impact of individual events varied considerably, collectively they left a devastating imprint on the people of the region and in turn its human geography. These tragic events have left evidence in both the ethnohistoric and the archaeological record, and it is crucial that present-day researchers look for that imprint in order to more fully interpret events of the past. In this talk I examine the nature of that devastation and its potential implications for archaeological research. Drawing largely on the records of the fur trade, through a series of historical vignettes I focus on post-epidemic population loss, migrations, changes to community structure, and their potential implications for the archaeological record. Building on this, I also explore how archaeologists can do much to inform students of the historical epidemiology of the region, through their field research.
Dr. Paul Hackett is an assistant professor in the department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan. He is also a research faculty member in the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit. He received a BA in geography from Carleton University, and MA and PHD (geography) from the University of Manitoba. Dr. Hackett’s approach to historical research is interdisciplinary and combines elements of geography, history, and anthropology, to explore health at the population level. His graduate work focussed on the diffusion of acute infectious diseases during the fur trade era, and he has published a book on the subject. Current projects examine the origins and history of tuberculosis and type 2 diabetes among First Nations communities in western Canada. Other recent research projects have focussed on intimate partner violence against women in rural and remote communities and he is collaborating on a major project looking at health aging in place among seniors in rural Saskatchewan.